Call For Papers

Design Thinking Research Symposium 13 (DTRS13)

April 20-22, 2021
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel

Expanding the frontiers of design: A blessing or a curse?

The DTRS series of meetings was launched at TUDelft in 1992. It aims to research design thinking on the base of real world evidence. Each of the past 12 meetings has dealt with a specific topic and in the next 13th symposium we will look at the expansion of what is understood as design (and design thinking), whereby many activities by professionals from different disciplines are seen as included in the term ‘design’. Participants in these undertakings consist of those who were educated in core design fields and others, including managers, marketing professionals and all sorts of other experts. The terms ‘Specialist Designer’ and ‘Generalist Designer’ have been coined to try to distinguish between those trained in traditional design disciplines and other participants in design initiatives. Various modes of team and group work are involved, such as collaboration, cooperation, consultation and more.

The move from design thinking as the way in which designers think to Design Thinking as a method embraced by the business world has brought many new actors to the table, and it is no longer clear what exactly design means and how well it is served by the expansion of its boundaries. In DTRS13 we would like to investigate precisely these questions. What are the new frontiers design is demarcating? Do they have the capacity to sustain the missions of design? What do we gain from this expansion of frontiers? What do we lose, if something is lost? Can we find a new signification for the designer, which will be wider than the traditional one but narrower than “everybody is a designer”? We invite design thinking researchers to explore issues related to these questions, based on evidence.

We invite you to the Technion in the spring of 2021 to participate in an event that promises to be challenging and fascinating. Be part of it! Haifa is a multi-cultural city on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Spring is the best time to visit!

Look up the website for updates and relevant dates and keep in touch with us.

Gabriela Goldschmidt and Ezri Tarazi


Call for Papers

We invite submissions in two stages: The extended deadline for extended abstracts (400-700 words + References), which is the first stage, is June 20, 2020. Authors of accepted abstracts will be invited to submit full papers.

There is no list of conference themes. Authors may refer to any topic related to the conference theme, as long as the work they report is evidence-based and it contributes to a discussion on the boundaries (or lack thereof) of design, design thinking and its research. Please send submissions to:
Please consult the website for further information and contact us if you have any questions.

What to submit: A text of ~400-700 (not including references) words (down from the initially declared 700-1000), which states the question you would like to address, the rationale for your interest in that question, how you intend to explore it, and what you hope to prove/show/establish. Any research method may be used, as long as the investigation is (will be) data based/driven.

Issues that may be of interest may include, but are not restricted to, the following examples:

      • What roles do different participants in the design process have?
      • Can there be design without designers?
      • What are similarities and differences between professional and lay designers?
      • How do multi-disciplinary teams perform in design tasks compared to designers-only teams?
      • Is creativity impacted by the disciplinary composition of a design team?
      • What are possible productive ways of involving non-designers in the design process?
      • Are there multiple definitions of ‘design’? When do they apply?
      • Should the practice of design be protected by regulation?
      • Is everybody a designer? And where does this place ‘professional’ designers?

How to send your abstract: Please submit a Word or PDF document, sheet size A4, using Arial 11 for the main text, spacing 1.5. Main title: Arial 16. Section titles: 14. All titles to be bold. Please leave margins of 2.5 cm. (1”) on all sides.

Current deadline for submission: June 20, 2020. No need to register to the conference at this point (the registration system will open later).

With best wishes for a happy and productive 2020,
Gabi Goldschmidt and Ezri Tarazi